Latest in 2006

Image credit:

The real Leopard show-stopper? Developer goodies that weren't on stage

David Chartier

Reports are surfacing on the web that, while everything Apple showed on stage at WWDC 2006 was exciting and purty 'n all, the more exciting attractions are what wasn't shown on stage. AeroExperience, a Vista developer resource site (of all places), claims to have an exclusive list of many of the underlying changes, newly introduced APIs and other developer goodies that might simply not have been prime fodder for the news and PR spotlight session of the keynote.

It's a pretty lengthy list, so here are some of the highlights for you cliffnote readers out there:

  • Leopard will feature resolution-independent user interface and there are several functions to get the current scaling factor and apply it to pixel measurements (we've mentioned how cool this is before, and so has Mr. Gruber).
  • Address Book adds support for sharing accounts, allowing an application to restrict content according to user (.Mac already does this, so I'm wondering if they mean some kind of framework or protocol is in place to open this up to something like WebDAV or simple FTP).
  • Automator includes a new user interface and allows things such as action recording, workflow variables and embedding workflows in other applications.
  • Time Machine has an API that allows developers to exclude unimportant files from a backup set which improves backup performance and reduces space needed for a backup (I was curious about how Time Machine would handle 'useless junk' types of files myself).
  • Carbon, the set of APIs built upon Classic MacOS and used by most 3rd party high-profile Mac OS X applications, now allows Cocoa views to be embedded into the application. This could provide applications like Photoshop and Microsoft Office access to advanced functions previously only available to Cocoa applications.
  • Text engine improvements include a systemwide grammar checking facility, smart quote support, automatic link detection and support for copying and pasting multiple selections.
  • Mail stationery is open to developers, allowing any web designer to create fantastic-looking Mail templates, with defined areas for custom user content (bring on the stationary plugin packs!).
  • A new framework is included for publishing and subscribing to RSS and Atom feeds, including complete RSS parsing and generation. Local feeds can be shared over Bonjour zero-configuration sharing and discovery (I suspected something like this; sounds like Safari and might share the same RSS database, as can other apps, so users don't have to waste time exporting/importing between RSS apps).
Check out the full list at AeroExperience for more of the potentially rocking Leopard features that Steve and company didn't show on stage.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr